A franken speedmaster on Ebay

Here is what looks like a watch built up from parts in a watch makers box left over from several Speedmaster restorations, or as I have come to learn the term, “Optimizations” – this is where the best parts are swapped around from several watches, leaving one very good one, and by default, a collection of very bad parts at the end.

It is from a watch like this we can learn quite a lot. As always we must look for the serial and the case reference. In this case, as declared by the seller, the bridge has been replaced with an un numbered bridge.

Note the new blank bridge, at the right of the photo.

So we look to inside the case back and see:

So we have an un numbered movement, in a 105.012-65 case. It is a pointless exercise to try and ascertain which parts are original to the watch, but we can try to see if any are period correct.

Dial has lost all of the lume, and also some of the underlying paint. So a simple re lume will not help this dial, the under coat of the plot must be re applied. Also note there is damage to the minute track. The T SWISS MADE T markings are hard to verify.

The minute and hour hand look bent, and two of the subdial hands are missing entirely. The square ended Chrono hand is seen on later references.Note also the position of the pinions that the running seconds and the minute recorder in the dial holes. The Dial is not sitting comfortably. So there may be damage to its feet, or it may have lost one or both. So this dial may need plot paint, re lume and feet to be usable. Quite an investment for something that will never look any good – there is nothing to be done to repair the track, or lack of SWISS markings.

A rare bit of good news is the pushers, which look original fat neck pushers. These are very hard to find, and will transform and otherwise good 105.012 with service pushers to a period correct one. The crown is an unknown to me, I cannot be sure.

The case itself shows some polishing at the back, where we can see a lack of definition in the bevel and the circle around the seamonster which should be sharp and defined.:

The movement is in a decayed state, and has had the number bridge replaced with a blank. The dust cover should be a polished one and so this one is from a later reference.

When looking at the viability of a movement, or as spares source, I look to the column wheel to see it has all its teeth. Then the shiny metal part which engages with it, (looks a bit like a cartoon octopus) both of which are unavailable from Omega. The rest of the parts while looking rusted, may well clean up. So we have a substantially useful movement.

Note the “hammer” upper let, the light silver coloured complex shape – thats rare. As soon as I can I will learn its real name, for now its #1728 . All other dirty/rusted parts should clean up.

So why has this watch already reached $2300 after 37 bids with five days to run? Perhaps the parts could be worth all that, or if you are after a movement part and the pushers. Keep an eye on it here.

All photos are from the listing, and I have no connection to the watch, I just thought it was interesting to discuss.